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Doing something about low self-esteem

DEEP-SEATED feelings of inadequacy - whether they cause a person to actually maltreat others or just make him quietly miserable - can be overcome. In the Bible is this powerful statement: ''Beloved, now are we the sons of God.'' n1 Feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness arise from a blindness to one's true selfhood as God's own child, His spiritual, perfect image.

n1 I John 3:2

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To think of ourselves as limited mortals, cut off from our divine source, is to open ourselves to feelings of not measuring up. But when we begin to discern what God really is - infinite, perfect Love - and what the man of His creating really is, we come to see the good that already belongs to us. This isn't escapism; it's realism in the truest sense. And understanding, even in a measure , our importance to God and the fact that He loves us brings marked relief from self-depreciation.

Assuring mankind of God's tender care for each of His children, Christ Jesus said: ''Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. . . . Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.'' n2

n2 Mathew 10:29, 31

Each of us is important, useful, unique. And as the expression, or manifestation, of God, each of us is absolutely indispensable to Him.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:''If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from His reflection, man, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Father would be childless, - no Father.'' n3

n3 Science and Health, p. 306.

As one opens his heart to the fatherhood and motherhood of God, he sees that man, the beloved offspring of God, can never fall from divine favor. Man's real and only status is uprightness. Man is forever inseparable from God and from all the good He gives. Man has God-given dignity and worth. These spiritual truths, understood and accepted, have power to deliver us from limiting, destructive states of thought and the ills associated with them.

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What, then, are some important steps we can take to gain more confidence and dominion? Almost certainly our first need is to know what God is through prayer and study of the Bible's inspired Word. We need to learn more about His nature, about the various qualities - such as love, intelligence, strength, purity, and joy - that He gives to man. It's important, too, that we come to understand man's relationship to God and man's nature as God's expression. And it's vital that we strive to live in accord with this reality. To increasingly express the love and purity of the divine nature is to discern more of our own true nature and to experience the esteem this naturally confers.

The impression that any person is trapped by inferiority or unimportance, left out of God's scheme of things, is the result of viewing life solely from a material perspective. It's a mistaken conception and not the truth of man. Mrs. Eddy writes, ''Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.'' n 4

n4 Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70.

Perceiving their true selfhood to be the unique, secure, loved, needed reflection of divine Love, many are gaining a greater sense of their present spiritual completeness and perfection. And this is bringing the joy and fulfillment rightfully theirs as God's own children.

With God's help, anyone - adult or child - can come to see his inherent worth now. DAILY BIBLE VERSE O. Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. . . . What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.

Psalms 8:1, 4-6

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